So last weekend I single handedly defended the physics department from having EVERY SINGLE COMPUTER stolen. And probably all the chalk too. Either that, or I just blew my career right out the water by declaring that an eminent professor was a bounder and a cad. One of the two.

My office mate was leaving. Her thesis was defended and the finished product stacked neatly on her empty desk ready for submission. (It would be later hidden by our advisor in a last-minute psychological experiment ... possibly suggested by me. BUT HE DID IT.) I had come in on Saturday afternoon to help her move her books, papers and two towels (I have no idea) back to her apartment to be packed for her move to California next week. 

As I approached the door to the main building a figure started towards me. He has been loitering on the opposite side of the road, but now he hurried across to stand a mere half step behind me as I fumbled for my keys. When I opened the door, his hand shot out over my shoulder to catch the edge and pull it open.

Boldly, I turned to look the man squarely in the eyes. I admit, he didn't exactly look like your stereotypical robber. Wearing a suit and being significantly over 70 he looked more like ... I dunno .... some distinguished Professor Emeritus.  But I was sure it was just a guise! Beneath that grandfatherly exterior lived a World of Warcraft fanatic, desperate to get his hands on our computing cluster for more power and probably the sword of Azeroth. 

"Could I see some ID?" I inquired, a steely look in my eye.

"Excuse me?" replied gentleman, a.k.a. Horde Undead Rogue

"I can't really let you into the building with seeing some ID, if you don't have your key," I explained, pleasantly. Ha! Where's your sword now, buster?

"I'm a distinguished Professor Emeritus!" the gentleman protested.


Okay, I admit, he didn't actually say 'distinguished' but it was totally implied. I prayed he wasn't some famous guy in my field who I had just completely failed to recognise.

It was times like this, I wished I'd focussed on astro-particle cosmology. Then the most famous person in my field would be Stephen Hawking. Dead easy to spot and I could totally have made a get away long before he'd have had the chance to accost me in the doorway of a building.  As it was I stood slightly awkwardly while the Professor Emeritus dug in his wallet for his university ID.

Admittedly, I didn't actually check the name on the card wasn't "Horde Undead Rogue" but it was so totally time to leave. I apologised and scooted off down the corridor at a pace that ensured he would never discover what sub-department I was in.